Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Absolute Zero Cool

There's a lot of talk about the current popularity of Scandinavian crime fiction but other than the Stieg Larsson "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy I haven't read any. I read so many books in the course of working with publishers that I don't actually have the luxury of choosing all that I read. Ah, the good ol' days....

In any case, I have become a fan of Irish crime fiction, much of which seems to take the best of the classic American tradition and invigorates it with a modern setting. Writers like Adrian McKinty, Ken Bruen, Declan Hughes, Stuart Neville, Tana French, and on and on, pick up thrillers and suspense novels and make them feel new again.

Read Declan Hughes' Ed Loy books and tell me you're not at least somewhat reminded of Raymond Chandler. For some reason I seem to put Adrian McKinty with Frederick Forsyth (at least his earlier books). Declan Burke is not only among the best, but he is a tireless champion and scholar of the literature as well. For an in-depth look at the current state of Irish crime fiction, and crime fiction in general, see the book he edited, "Down These Green Streets."

Or just read his books. His most recent, "Absolute Zero Cool," has drawn many comparisons but I haven't seen any that bring in the one writer that book reminds me of more than any other: Paul Auster. Specifically his New York Trilogy. "Cool" is more accessible, though, and the humor and irony are much more prevalent in Burke's book. Talk about style....

Anyway, this is just a brief mention. Anyone who's read this blog knows I don't like to do brief reviews so I mostly manage a mention here and there, especially these days, the ones with not enough hours in them. Take it as a blanket recommendation, though: pick up something from Burke, Hughes, McKinty or Bruen and see if you can stop at just one. My guess is you can't.